Vesticon Corp, Portland, Ore, reports the widespread availability of its newest product, the Epley Omniax System, a software-guided, patient positioning system designed to help physicians and other care providers to diagnose and treat vestibular disorders, such as the most common type, known as benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV).
Some 15 million Americans annually suffer from vestibular vertigo, often with debilitating symptoms.
Invented by John Epley, MD, developer of the "Epley Maneuver" for treating BPPV, the system derives its name from the 360° multi-axial positioning it provides. The software-driven patient positioning system uses infrared goggles to assist caregivers in analyzing abnormal eye movement patterns associated with the shifting of loose particles in the inner-ear canals that cause BPPV. Physicians and therapists can rotate patients to virtually any position, including a 360° flip.
The system offers precise nystagmus-based evaluation, and enables caregivers to detect, differentiate, treat, and manage balance and dizziness disorders, the company says.
Epley says that balance disorders often involve loose particles in more than one inner ear canal, or particles in a canal other than the posterior canal. Occasionally the problem is caused by some other issue, such damage to the brain or a problem elsewhere in the ear. Too often, if the Epley Maneuver doesn’t solve the problem, patients are told there is nothing that can be done and they need to learn to live with it.
With the Omniax System, physicians can rule in or rule out various causes of vestibular vertigo and if it is determined that the cause is particles in the ear canal, the system provides a means to more easily and more effectively treat it, the company says. Its multi-axial rotational capability allows for more comprehensive treatment where manual maneuvers are problematic, such as when the patient is frail, obese, or disabled.
In addition to the system at Epley’s practice in Portland, systems have been installed at the Legacy Holiday Park Clinical Research Technology Center, Portland; the Senta Medical Clinic, San Diego; the Florida Ear and Balance Center, Celebration, Fla; the Ear and Balance Institute, Baton Rouge, La; the Michigan Ear Institute, Farmington Hills, Mich; and the Hearing and Balance Unit of the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Camperdown, NSW, Australia.
This month, Vesticon will be installing new commercial units at the Werner Institute of Balance and Dizziness in Las Vegas and at the Louis Stokes VA Medical Center in Cleveland.
Vesticon is focused on practical solutions that narrow the gap between medical knowledge of the vestibular system and putting that knowledge into practice at the clinical level. Research for the company’s three products currently in development has been supported by the National Institutes of Health Small Business Innovation Program (NIH SBIR). The first of these products to gain FDA approval is the Epley Omniax System.